Doner Blooms With May Account

W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich., was awarded May Department Stores Co.’s $65 million broadcast creative services account last Thursday, besting The Richards Group in Dallas.
Along with Doner and Richards, officials from N.W. Ayer & Partners, New York, also presented to the St. Louis-based client on Monday. But Ayer withdrew from the review shortly after the presentation.
Doner will create broadcast advertising for seven of May’s chains–including Filene’s, Foley’s, Kaufman’s, Robinsons-May, Famous-Barr, Strawbridge’s and Meier & Frank–in seven different regions. The first work will appear for the Christmas holiday and will be “two-thirds branding and one-third promotions,” said Doner chairman Alan Kalter, who led the pitch.
May officials said they were impressed with Doner’s consumer insights and its creative approach, Kalter added. While past work for the retailer has been almost completely promotions-based, the new ads from Doner will be “much more watchable,” Kalter said. The branding message will be consistent across all of the store’s chains, he said, although the promotional message will change depending upon the needs of each market.
Doner plans to hire personnel to work on account planning, creative and production for the May account. It will be serviced out of Doner’s Southfield headquarters.
May’s divisions have handled their creative work and media buying in-house. The company, which is the nation’s second-largest department store chain behind Federated Department Stores, spent $574 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Broadcast spending for the seven divisions was approximately $64 million.
May’s review was handled by consultancy Select Resources International in Los Angeles. –with Steve Krajewski